Tag: Intolerance

What’s up with the four City Council candidates who are ditching forums and questionnaires?

An attendee at the “Stand for the Constitution Freedom Rally” last July 4 (Photo: Facebook). Stand for the Constitution endorses Haitz, Andrews, Green and McAllister, calling them “our candidates.”

Kristin Wynn of Citizens for Clean Air Grand Junction reported that her group has not received responses to questionnaires they sent to City Council candidates Mark McCallister, Kraig Andrews, Jody Green, and Greg Haitz. Nor did any of these candidates bother to respond to a short questionnaire from the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley and none of them participated in the City Council Candidate Forums organized by the Western Colorado Alliance, which were held virtually on Zoom.

So why are these four candidates dodging public forums and refusing to answer City residents’ questions? And what do they all have in common that the other four candidates don’t?

For one thing, they are all endorsed by the local right-wing extremist group  “Stand for the Constitution,” who calls the slate of them “our candidates.”

More hate in Grand Junction

Part of 30-40 memes and cartoons received in the mail this week from a bigoted anonymous sender.

Grand Junction’s “Inclusivity Proclamation” notwithstanding, there is plenty of hate and racism in Grand Junction. The above represents a small fraction of the 35 to 40 hate-filled memes and cartoons someone took the time to copy, cut out and mail us in an anonymous snail mail letter, received on Tuesday, 9/22/20. The rest were similar, many were worse, and many focused on Trump worship, denigrating Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, liberals, non-white people, etc.

 

 

Swastika scrawled on Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction

Swastika graffiti painted on the Riverfront Trail in Grand Junction.

Graffiti of a swastika was found yesterday, October 10, on the section of the Riverfront Trail just west of High Country Court in Grand Junction. The symbol is an emblem of far-right nationalist movements and is used by Nazis and neo-Nazis. It is widely considered a symbol of hate. The image was about 2 ft. by 2 ft. in yellow spray paint and was found on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement that follows shortly after the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashana. The graffiti was reported to the City, who passed information about it to the Parks Department, which is in charge of maintaining the Riverfront Trail.

For more documentation of the hate culturein Grand Junction, search on the term “hate” in the search box located to the upper right side of this post.

State Senator Ray Scott lied to the Daily Sentinel about social media blocking case

Full disclosure: I was the plaintiff in the lawsuit that the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado brought against State Senator Ray Scott for blocking constituents from his official social media accounts.

On August 31, 2019 the Daily Sentinel printed an article about the settlement we reached in the case.

Had the Sentinel contacted me for this article, I would have let them know that Ray Scott lied to them about several specific pieces of information regarding the case.

Ray Scott’s first lie:

Scott told the Sentinel that he blocked people from his social media accounts “only if someone posted a profane or inappropriate comment.”

That is absolutely false.

Beware electing Janet Rowland as county commissioner again

Former County Commissioner Janet Rowland (January 2005 – January 2013) once compared same-sex marriage to bestiality on a state-wide talk show, drawing condemnation from around the nation.

Janet Rowland is running for Mesa County Commissioner.

Yes, again.

She’s already been a Mesa County Commissioner — from January, 2005 to January, 2013 — but that doesn’t mean her being commissioner again is a good idea. It arguably is not a good idea. From her previous two terms, we have an abundance of experience with her and know what is in store if Janet Rowland gets another chance to be Commissioner. 

So let’s take a look at the past and see what it tells us.

Morally and ethically challenged

Certainly Janet has done some good things through her career, like trying to address child abuse and finding homes for foster kids. While those endeavors are laudable, we also need to take into account all the things she’s done that have set a poor example for kids, and our entire community and that have harmed the County.

Plagiarism

Shortly after losing statewide election for lieutenant governor as Bob Beauprez’s running mate in 2006, and while she was previously Mesa County Commissioner, Janet was a guest columnist for the Grand Junction Free Press, at the time a competing newspaper to the Daily Sentinel. She wrote several articles for the Free Press until one day a sharp reader noticed Janet had lifted most of one of her columns word for word from a government-published pamphlet, and brought this information to the attention of the Free Press’s editor.

 

Feb. 3, 2007 column in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel about Janet Rowland plagiarizing a guest column she wrote for the G.J. Free Press.

The Daily Sentinel reported on Rowland’s plagiarism on February 3, 2007:

A Mesa County official has plagiarized a government substance abuse booklet in her two most recent columns in the Grand Junction Free Press, that newspaper’s editor confirmed Friday.

The majority of Mesa County Commissioner Janet Rowland’s Feb. 1 column in the Free Press, titled “The importance of a strong parent-child bond,” was lifted verbatim from a 2006 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism publication titled, “Making a Difference: Talk to Your Teen About Alcohol.”

A reading of Rowland’s unattributed column and the text of the booklet revealed the two are virtually identical. The only differences were found in the column’s first sentence and its lead into several bullet points.

The editor said if Rowland had been a staff writer, she probably would have been fired.

 

Janet’s first reaction to the plagiarism charge was to claim she couldn’t even remember writing the columns. (Denial.) When that failed to tamp down the controversy, she next said the information she used in her columns had been intended for “mass duplication anyhow,” adding that if people wanted to make what she did out as something evil, that was THEIR prerogative. (Sour grapes.) Next, she blamed the plagiarism on others, saying she had included the necessary attributions in her column, but Free Press staff had edited them out. (Lying and blaming.) Free Press management quickly produced the emails that contained the articles exactly as they had received them from Janet for publication, showing that they contained no references or attributions.

Free digital literacy resources available from Southern Poverty Law Center

Are you a teacher looking for ways to teach kids how to tell the difference between real and “fake” news, how to determine whether an online source is legitimate, reliable and fair, and how to engage in social media discussions responsibly? Are you looking for ways to help kids negotiate topics in the news, like immigration, civil rights, race and gender identity?

Well, here’s your answer.

The Southern Poverty Law Center now offers free Common Core-compatible classroom materials and resources that can help kids discern malicious online fare like propaganda deployed by hate groups to recruit new members, false conspiracy theories and racist lies. It will also help kids become more sophisticated consumers of news and social media and navigate topics like race and ethnicity, religion, variations in ability, immigration, class, bullying and bias, gender and sexual identity and rights and activism.

And did we mention it’s all free?

SPLC’s, program, “Teaching Tolerance,” includes K-12 lesson plans that align with Common Core standards and offers professional development tools that will help teachers increase their own online savvy. Teachers can access a multitude of resources, like lessons for different grade levels, student tasks, lesson plans, teaching strategies for different grade levels, film kits, printable posters and other classroom materials, and they are all available at no cost by visiting Tolerance.org.

Do you recognize this guy? Your anonymous tip could be worth money.

Surveillance camera photo of suspect who placed harassing classified ad in the Nickel

Another view of the suspect wanted on charges of harassment for placing a bogus classified ad in The Nickel.

Reposting from Mesa County CrimeStoppers Crime of the Week, 1/24/19

The Grand Junction Police Department needs your help to identify a male suspect that is wanted for harassment.

On Wednesday, January 2nd , an unknown male placed a malicious classified ad in “The Nickel” stating the victim’s house was “For Sale by Owner.” Security cameras capture a white male in his 50’s with a gray beard and last seen wearing a dark colored coat, blue jeans and a baseball cap. The surveillance photo of the suspect can be viewed at http://www.241stop.com.

If you know the identity or location of the suspect involved in this crime, please contact Crime Stoppers at (970) 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, see us at http://www.241stop.com.

New form of harassment: weaponization of classified ads

Online version of the malicious Nickel ad

Utilizing a novel form of harassment, someone put a malicious classified ad in the January 3 edition of The Nickel Classified Ads saying our house was for sale “by owner” at a lowball price, and that there will be an open house Jan 11-13. Whoever placed the ad used our numeric street address and included a verbal description of our home. They did not include a phone number in the ad.

We found out about it after a realtor came to our house with the hard copy of the ad in The Nickel in hand and showed it to us.

Hate in Grand Junction, Halloween edition

This sign was placed on our lawn tonight, positioned facing the house. We were out to dinner and to Best Buy earlier in the evening and when we came back, the subdivision was filled with cars parked along the streets, indicating lots of out-of-area trick-or-treaters were in the neighborhood. The sign wasn’t there yet when we got home. When we got home, we left the front of the house dark and went to the back to watch TV. When I took the dog out for his last walk tonight just after 10:00 p.m., I found this sign placed on our lawn. We have political signs on our lawn for Chris Kennedy, Sen. D-7 and Tanya Travis, HD-55. But this looks pretty planned. If anyone has any tips about who did it, please contact me.

Hate in Grand Junction on full display today at Mesa County Deplorables rally against refugees

People from central America on their thousand-mile foot trek to find a place where they can live in safety with their families. Vicious gang violence has become rampant in some central American countries, forcing families to flee.

An article in today’s Daily Sentinel says Mesa County Deplorables will hold a rally downtown today against the people who make up the “caravan” of central American refugees headed northward on foot towards the U.S. border to escape violence in their home countries. People joined the caravan and have been traveling together to protect themselves against violent attacks while en route to find a safer place to live with their families.

Who are the “Deplorables”?

Mesa County Commissioner John Justman is listed as a member of Mesa County Deplorables

“Deplorables” is a label many of President Trump’s supporters eagerly took on during the 2016 presidential campaign. The social media of “Deplorable” groups around the country depicts the group’s ideology as manifesting broad-brush disrespect towards people from other countries, objectification of women and an emphasis on the way women look rather than on their intellect, abilities or contributions. “Deplorable” ideology reflects feelings of superiority and an outright fear of people who are different physically, racially, sexually and ethnically from people within their own social circles.

More on the hate culture in Grand Junction: “If you don’t like it, leave”

We I came home from our anniversary dinner last fall to find this sticker slapped on our mailbox. President Trump has emboldened nasty behavior among Mesa County right wingers.

Note: I first published this article in August of 2018, but given President Trump’s recent racist statements toward four female freshmen members of Congress, it seems appropriate to re-post it. — AL, July 21, 2019

——————

Anyone on the western slope who has pointed out hatred, bigotry, unequal treatment or violations of people’s constitutional or civil rights in our area has heard the phrase over and over: “If you don’t like what’s going on here, you can just leave.”

That’s what many western slope residents say to people who live here who aren’t just like them, who may have moved here from somewhere else, or who disagree with them or assert their constitutional rights.

Western Slope pastor and Mesa County “Patriots” display stunning callousness towards refugees, children

Reverend Babcox, Orchard Mesa Baptist Church

Amid the massive “Keep Families Together” protests in over 750 cities across the country including in Grand Junction last weekend against the Trump administration’s harsh “zero tolerance” immigration policy that separated thousands of refugee children from their parents, some Mesa County citizens are publicly denying that any children of refugees have been taken away from their parents, while also denying there is anything wrong with doing it. Others show utter disdain towards immigrant parents for taking desperate measures to get their families out of harm’s way.

Of all people, Robert Babcox, the pastor of the Orchard Mesa Baptist Church, is one of those people.

Milo Yiannopoulos’s Grand Junction show cancelled

Milo Yiannopoulos

Grand Junction has been spared a potentially embarrassing and costly problem. A show by white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos scheduled for April 14th at an undisclosed location in Grand Junction has been cancelled. The website for the event, “A Night with Milo, Grand Junction” says tickets to the Grand Junction event are no longer on sale. No more details are provided. The tickets had been priced at $40-$109 — expensive for any event in Grand Junction. Yiannopoulos was also supposed to appear in Las Vegas the night before the Grand Junction event, but that appearance has also apparently been cancelled.

Great news, and another win for Grand Junction’s growing liberal/progressive community.

 

Disgraced white supremacist Milo Yiannopoulos plans talk in Grand Junction

Milo Yiannopoulos

People are hyperventilating over a scheduled appearance in Grand Junction by white supremacist provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at 7:00 p.m. on April 14th at a currently undisclosed location. Some are planning protests, but the best thing to do might be to just yawn and ignore Yiannopoulos entirely.

Trump’s Border Wall Folly

“Believe me,” said Trump. But no, Mexico won’t pay for a wall. Trump is now demanding American taxpayers pay for it.

While still promising Mexico will pay for it, President Trump is now trying to extort $25 billion from U.S. taxpayers to build a “big, beautiful” border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, and he’s holding DACA recipients hostage to do it.

It’s clear Trump either doesn’t understand, or is ignoring the nuances of legal and illegal immigration as well as actual statistics about the rates of crime committed by immigrants vs. U.S. citizens, and how most contraband gets into the country illegally.

By far the biggest contributor to violent deaths in the U.S. is not immigrants, but our country’s own violent culture paired with easy access to deadly firearms — a fact President Trump completely ignores in his effort to whip up xenophobic fear among Americans.

The stakes for Trump’s wall are extremely high for American taxpayers in many ways. The first is financial.

How the President’s racism affects the western slope

President Donald Trump spent years spreading the racist lie that President Obama was born in Kenya. He’s publicly described Mexicans as rapists, called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” said immigrants from Haiti “all have AIDS,” used the gang MS-13 to disparage all immigrants and called African countries “shitholes.”

Sad to say, but there are people in our own community who actually believe these things, and worse, and Trump is empowering them to more freely express their racism and xenophobia.

It doesn’t take, “like, a genius” to understand there is nothing adorable about being a “Deplorable”

 

Many ardent Trump supporters happily call themselves “deplorable,” making fun of a point Hillary Clinton tried to make during her 2016 campaign that many Trump supporters are racist, sexist, xenophobic and homophobic.

Members of Trump’s “Deplorable” contingents across the country, including those locally, typically deny they are any of these things, yet the Facebook pages of “Deplorables” groups (Trump supporters across the country who have personally labeled themselves “Deplorables”) do in fact reveal a strong component of sexist, racist, xenophobic and homophobic thought runs within these groups.